Marriage

Book Review: Things I Wish I'd Known Before We got Married

Things I Wish I'd knownGary Chapman

Publisher: Northfield Publishing

Pages: 176

Price: $12.99

ISBN: 978-0802481832

Publication Date: August 24, 2010

Christianbook.com:

When newly married, Gary Chapman and his wife found their attitudes about everything strikingly at odds, although they shared their Christian faith. Happily-ever-after eluded them. He says many marriages falter before the seven-year mark because of unmet expectations. 

He talks about family influences, religious differences, accepting the personality differences in the other person even when the spouse breaks the dishes in the dishwasher. He discusses sex, money styles, children: whether to have them and how to raise them. He covers the unexpected problems that can take the fun out of marriage. He says the “tingles” usually disappear after the first two years. At that point, the couple needs more to keep the marriage going.

He also refers to The 5 Love Languages and The 5 Apology Languages, two books written by him. If you have read those, you will find those chapters repetitive.

Though he and his wife are Christians, he wrote this book for all faiths. Gary Chapman directs Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. People considering marriage can take away much from his professional advice.

Those making a lifetime decision based only on the tingles might discover some nonnegotiables here. For example, a wife may treat the husband as her mother treated her father. If the mother has a trait the husband can’t stand, will he hate his wife for the same trait? Is it something she would work to change?

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Got Married is written by a professional psychologist. Gary Chapman doesn’t speak with jargon or three-syllable words, but he does speak like an educated man. It doesn't feel like a conversation at Starbucks.

I received this book from my church library


Book Review: Joni&Ken

Joni and KenKen & Joni Eareckson Tada With Larry Libby

Subtitle: An Untold Love Story

Publisher: Zondervan

Pages: 192

Price: $18.99

ISBN: 978-0310314691

Publication Date: April 2, 2013

Christianbook

An athletic seventeen-year-old girl broke her neck while diving, changing her life forever. Over thirty years later, she still lives in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down. She has also traveled throughout the US and the world advocating for the disabled. Few of us haven’t heard of Joni Earekson Tada, singer, writer, and artist who does oil paintings by holding the brush in her teeth. 

Ken Tada is the amazing man she found, married, and has loved for thirty years. When he married her, he knew there would be challenges. But he discovered the extent of those challenges on their wedding night. They had periods of near-estrangement as he struggled through the inescapable dailiness of it all.

Ken became depressed. Then Joni’s physical disabilities increased. She went from no feeling in her body, to terrible pain, breast cancer, and pneumonia.  

The Lord took them through the turbulence to a place of deeper-than-ever love for each other and Him. There is a cute set of pictures on the back flap of the two of them laughing together. 

The authors of Joni&Ken tell the story in personal narrative, leading the reader into the action as though walking along with them. Neither Joni nor Ken are perfect, though talented and spiritually sensitive. What might be too depressing to read, becomes a journey with two nice people that we like.